I am an academic and writer working on Egyptian cinema, popular culture, humour, technology, and bureaucracy. Born in Cairo and raised in Montreal, I went on to get a DPhil in Anthropology from the University of Oxford. Between 2016 and 2020, I worked as a Junior Research Fellow in Anthropology in Christ Church, Oxford. In 2020-2021, I was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (FAMES), Cambridge. I am now Associate Professor in Visual Anthropology and a Fellow of Wolfson College at the University of Oxford.

My first book, Making Film in Egypt, has been published with the American University in Cairo Press (2021). This book is the first ethnographic study of the Egyptian film industry. It contributes to scholarship in media anthropology, media studies, and Middle East anthropology.

My academic work has appeared in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Journal of the African Literature Association, the Arab Studies JournalMiddle East CritiqueArab Media & Society, and Visual Anthropology Review among others. I wrote a number of essays on Egyptian politics and culture in English and Arabic, and I write a regular column on philosophical concepts in Arabic on the literary website Boring Books.

Author copies of all articles, essays, and columns are available on this website, in English and in Arabic.

Chihab El Khachab portrait
Portrait by Ali Zaraay